North Carolina Advances to ACC Championship
Nov. 2, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Three different Tar Heel players scored in the first 15 minutes as No. 1 North Carolina defeated Wake Forest, 4-0, Friday afternoon in ACC Field Hockey Championship semifinal action at Francis E. Henry Stadium.
Defending champion North Carolina advances to Sunday's final when it will attempt to win back-to-back titles for the first time since 1997, the last time that the Tar Heels won the conference championship in Chapel Hill.
"We are excited to get there [to the final]," said North Carolina coach Karen Shelton. "It's not easy to do; everybody knows that the ACC tournament is the preliminary to the Final Four and is like a practice Final Four. To have to play a tough Wake Forest team and then turn around and play the winner of this game [between Maryland and Virginia], it is not easy but it is fantastic preparation."
With the win, North Carolina (19-1, 5-0 ACC) evens up the tournament series record with Wake Forest (8-11, 1-4) at 5-5 and improves to 39-13 in the event.
Friday's result gave the Tar Heels a season sweep of the Demon Deacons, with North Carolina winning both September meetings by one goal.
North Carolina's offense, the top-scoring squad in the country, got rolling early in the second minute with a goal by Loren Shealy. Jaclyn Gaudioso Radvany sneaked a pass along the backline and found Shealy in front for her 14th of the season.
Charlotte Craddock tallied her 20th goal in 14 games played this year in the eighth minute. Craddock, averaging a conference-leading 1.46 goals per game, converted a penalty corner with assists from Emily Wold and Caitlin Van Sickle.
The Tar Heels pushed the lead to 3-0 in the 15th minute on a goal Katie Plyler, her third of the season, assisted by Kelsey Kolojejchick.
North Carolina was not able to score again before the break, but it held Wake Forest to one shot in the final 24 minutes to preserve the 3-0 halftime lead.
The offense continued to produce in the second half for North Carolina. Rachel Magerman settled the ball and fired a shot through Wake Forest goalkeeper Valerie Dahmen's legs for her second goal of the season and the 4-0 lead with 20 minutes remaining.
Wake Forest earned four penalty corners in the second half but was not able to take advantage of the opportunities.
The Tar Heels outshot the Demon Deacons 15-8 and both teams earned four penalty corners.
Sassi Ammer made two saves in the win. Wake Forest's Kaitlyn Ruhf had one save in 35 minutes of action in the first half, and Dahmen had two stops in the second half.
More information on the 2012 ACC Field Hockey Championship can be found online at http://theacc.co/FHChamp.